Why We Don’t Donate Pottery to Charity, And What We Do Instead

Charity events, silent auctions and raffle ticket fundraisers can be great ways to raise money for worthy causes. People ask us to donate pottery to their charity events regularly. They’ve been asking for years, and I used to say yes every time.

But a few years ago, I started saying no.

It’s not because we get too many requests. Even if we donated one pot per week, that’s only 52 pots per year, out of the 6,000+ pots we made last year.

It’s not because people don’t want the art. People might not bid the full $165 retail price for a Cosmic Mug at a charity auction, but it would definitely help raise some money.

There is one main reason why I don’t donate art.

I believe people should support artists, not ask them for free art.

Put yourself in the shoes of an artist. Which would you rather have someone say to you:

“Donate to our event please. It will support a good cause and get your name out there.”

or

“I just bought your art!”

If I donate my art to charity, then it tells the charity that it’s okay to ask other artists for free stuff too. That’s the problem.

Too many artists struggle to sell their art for what it’s worth. I believe artists are some of the last people in society that we should be asking for donations. You would never ask a doctor, lawyer or banker to donate their work to a silent auction.

What We Do Instead of Donating Art

Instead of donating pottery, we just let our pottery be available for sale on store.cherricopottery.com, cosmicmugs.com and to our Patrons. Then, we donate a portion of the money to charities that we care about, and keep a public record here, to help keep us accountable:

cherricopottery.com/donations

You shouldn’t donate to every charity who contacts you. We don’t, because that would be impossible. Every time I mention donations, we tend to get a flood of requests.

Just this week, another person emailed us asking us to donate pottery to an event for their son, a 10 year old boy who is fighting cancer.

Stores like this are so sad. Of course it makes me want to donate! But giving art and/or money to everyone who asks isn’t sustainable. Business, like everything, requires balance (I told them we can’t donate pottery, but we’re happy to donate some cash instead.)

It’s not important to donate to everyone who asks. What’s important is that you stay open to the idea of supporting charities, and actually do it consistently.

We simply pick a few good causes, and then make sure we’re giving consistently. Then, when we have stronger sales or another good cause comes to our attention, we can give a little more.

Society works best when we all make an extra effort to be of service to others. Donating money might not be the best way to solve problems, but it helps, and it’s our way of giving back beyond just making art.

Birthday Pots: 29 Freebies

Cool facts about the number 29:

  • The atomic number of Copper (Cu)
  • The number of years it takes the planet Saturn to orbit the Sun
  • Iowa is the 29th state in the US- I grew up in Iowa! No, I didn’t grow up on a farm¬†ūüĆĹūüĆĹ
  • My age. Today is my 29th birthday!

To celebrate, we’re giving away 29 pots, totally free. Plus, we put together a bunch of discount deals and one donation to a great¬†cause:

30% off Cosmic Bowls + one FREE World Record Planter

50% off Remaining World Record Planters

РCoupon Code: GWR50 valid through Friday.

Nuka Cobalt Vase + 50% donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital¬†with $50 starting bid.

($425 Value: $385 + $40 packing and shipping average)

ūüéĀūüéČ Birthday¬†Pottery Giveaway ūüéĀūüéČ

29 Free Pots Going To 9 Winners, $771.00 Value, Totally Free:

  • Sets of 4 “Cosmic Shot Cups” going out to 6 different winners ($378 value: $48 retail + $15 packing and shipping each)
  • Two “Lunar Cups” going out to two different winners ($214 value: $95¬†retail + $12 packing and shipping each)
  • World Record Planter #29: ($179 value: $159 retail + $20 packing and shipping)

Enter the Giveaway:

What was the last thing you gifted or donated to someone, and¬†why??¬†Leave a comment below before¬†this Friday¬†telling us one thing you gifted to a friend, donated to a local food shelter, non-profit organization, school, church,¬†anything!¬†We’ll pick the best 9 comments and give each winner a certain selection of the above 29 pots¬†($771.00 value) totally free.

To enter, you must leave one, genuine comment, or the moderator will not approve your comment or include you in the giveaway. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Please allow 24-48 hours for your comment to appear. You must also be on our email newsletter distribution list to qualify, so please make sure you are okay with receiving our email newsletter before you leave a comment. We will pick winners Friday around 2pm Central and you will receive the pottery shipped to you nearly anywhere globally, totally free.

*UPDATE 5/12: ENDED. Congrats Kristie,¬†J.B.S.,¬†Diandra, James H., Dorthy, Michael,¬†Amy, Leslie and Stephanie! You should have an email waiting in your inbox. Thanks so much to everyone who participated! I’m truly blown away by all of the kindness that all of you shared about the ways you spread generosity. Thanks again!¬†‚Äď Joel

Coupons and Giveaway Expire Friday 5/12

Please give us a couple days to pack and ship, because I plan to spend my birthday busting out a few fresh pots and guitar riffs.

“There’s something about the physicality of clay…a worthless material to most people. Contractors can’t build in it, farmers can’t grow in it. The only worth it has is what you and I give it.”

– Don Reitz, quoted in this video interview.

store.cherricopottery.com/big-pots